Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Monkey & Two Cats

Many of the fables and stories handed over from generation to generation are based on the experience of our forefathers.
One such story is about two cats fighting for a loaf of bread.
A monkey comes and offers to divide the loaf between them so that they are both satisfied.
We all know the story and also remember how it ended.

We are now seeing the story being enacted between two cats, the Ambani Bothers, fightung for the gas supply coming from the KG Basin.
The monkey, the government, has now come down and offered to find a solution.

History repeats for those who do not remember history.

Our Great Indian Singers

One of the last great playback singers Mahendra Kapoor passed away on the 27th September.
We have to thank God that He has spared Manna Dey so far.
One after another, all the great playback singers have been called to the other side. I suppose God too would like to listen to them.
The songs sung by them still touch our hearts.
India is the poorer with their absence.
There were others and I would not like to belittle their contribution.
Talat Mehmood, Pradeep, are names which come to mind

Mahendra KapoorJanuary 9, 1934, September 27, 2008

Kishore KumarAugust 4, 1929 – October 13, 1987
Hemanta KumarJune 16, 1920 - September 26, 1989

Mukesh22 July 1923 – 27 August 1976
Mohd RafiDecember 24, 1924 – July 31, 1980

R D Burman
June 27, 1939 –
January 4, 1994
S D Burman
October 1, 1906 -
October 31, 1975

A kiss for you

These beautiful pictures and the subtle humour is from Prakash Bhartia.
He does give a new meaning to life.
Thanks Prakash.

A Kiss for you . Make sure you read the words

Sunday, September 28, 2008

World famous Jews

The jews are a very intelligent race and gave us famous people in all walks of life.
It is probably this intelligence which made people jealous of their progress and persecuted them through the ages.

If I named all the giants, the list would run into pages.
I'll just name a few from different profession.
Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Einstein, Alan Greenspan,Woody Allen, Yehudi Menuhin,Neil Bohr, Jonas Salk,Michael Dell,Steve Ballmer,George Soros,Calvin Klein, Levi Strauss,Jerry Lewis,Steven Spielberg.

When you have so many famous people from any race, there must be something in the way they are brought up.
Their old teachers gave hem many proverbs on which to base their lives.
I am giving below some of their famous proverbs.

As you teach, you learn.

A mother understands what a child does not say.

Don't look for more honor than your life merits.

Worries go down better with soup than without.

Don't live in a town where there are no doctors.

Do not be wise in words - be wise in deeds.

God couldn't be everywhere, so he created mothers

Pride is the mask of one's own faults.

Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom
that experience can instill in us.

Truth is the safest lie.

Never trust the man who tells you all his troubles but keeps from you all his joys.

Don't open a shop unless you know how to smile.

What you don't see with your eyes, don't invent with your mouth.

Many people look forward to the new year for a new start on old habits.

Here is a story which shows both the love of a disciple for his Guru and the love of a Guru for his disciple

According to legend, a young man, while roaming the desert, came across a spring of delicious crystal-clear water. The water was so sweet he filled his leather canteen so he could bring some back to a tribal elder who had been his teacher. After a four-day journey he presented the water to the old man who took a deep drink, smiled warmly and thanked his student lavishly for the sweet water. The young man returned to his village with a happy heart.
Later, the teacher let another student taste the water. He spat it out, saying it was awful. It apparently had become stale because of the old leather container. The student challenged his teacher: "Master, the water was foul. Why did you pretend to like it?"
The teacher replied, "You only tasted the water. I tasted the gift. The water was simply the container for an act of loving-kindness and nothing could be sweeter.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Msgs from Old Boys 39

Msg from Willy Wu

Hi Radhesh,

Just to let you know that, we have our next
reunion dinner confirmed for Nov.1/08.
This time we are going for Indian buffet,
and the restaurant will be 'The Host'.

Please post the message on your site, just in
case some more people out there in Toronto
reading your nessages will get informed.


Willy Wu (1971).

Msg from Seeromani Chettri

Hello Seeromani,
We have our boys in UK,Europe,USA, Australia, Africa
Which year boys would you want to contact?
Which year did you pass from Goethals?


Hi friend,

I really thank you and appreciate for your mails.
This is really a good way of keeping in touch with "exgoats"
Are you in touch with any one based outside India, can you send me their name / contact detail / e-mail id.



Msg from Surojit Mitra

I see an educated fool in you. As I said I can only pray for you. You are in absolute darkness.
In Him.


Msg from Roy Joseph

Dear Radheshyam,

Hari Om!

Truly God is the Alpha and the Omega - the Beginning and the End.

Thank you for your reply.

I had presented to you only what I have examined and accepted
independent of the ideas given to me about God. sin and soul from my
parents. However, obviously, very few people opt for any change.
Change is painful, of course. Even in my academic pursuit, especially
in the lower classes, I had to suffer a number of painful strokes
with the cane! But I had to opt for a change from ignorance. As I
have already written, in my pursuit of knowing God, this pain has been
spared to me as my forefathers converted to the Christian beliefs
several centuries ago. But the choice to suffer pain for something
better in store is every person's own choice based on what he enjoys
in this present world such as good health, social standing and even
his reputation as a good, religious man in the way of life that was
taught to him as a child, and the destiny that he chooses for his
immortal soul in eternity.

The main problem before the human race is that no man is perfect. So
at the time of God's Judgement (which I believe is a certainity as per
what is written in the Bible)what can anyone present in defence of
his sinful actions before a Holy and Righteous God? I sincerely
believe that I can take shelter at that time in the atoning sacrifice
of His only Son Jesus, because the Holy Bible says, 'There is now no
condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus'. The meaning of Christ
is 'Messiah' or Saviour. He is the only Saviour sent by God Himself to
save mankind from the consequence of their sins, which is eternal
banishment from His Presence. The choice to take this opportunity
which presents itself only during the lifetime of an individual is
only his. He cannot blame his circumstances. Everything in God's
Kingdom works as per His divinely ordained Laws. Just as a man has to
co-operate with the Divinely ordained Laws of gravity or electricity
or aerodynamics to make things work in the physical realm, so too
every person has to work out the salvation of his soul in the
spiritual realm also only in accordance with His Law laid down for
this purpose. There is no room to blame the law of God provided for
the salvation of the soul, just as no one can blame the law of
electicity provided by God for making one sit in darkness when the
simple fact may be that he had not taken advantage of a simple law of
electricity of putting on a light switch to establish a contact to
complete the electric circuit!

However, it is definitely understandable that any man would try to
avoid any pain unless he is convinced that a greater benefit lies
ahead which can compensate him for the losses and inconveniences
suffered during the course of life when opting for a change.

I pray God that He will help you.

Yours sincerely,
Roy Joseph.

Msg from Sushil Dikshit

Hi there all x-Goats
Basant B.Lama(65) has released his first book on the history of
Darjeeling.. aptly named "The Story of Darjeeling" hope you chaps, out
there, will buy one and READ it.


Hello Sushil

Congratulations to Basant and I am sure going to buy it, knowing Basant's humour.
Tell me where it is available in Kolkata
I'll put this in my weekly mails


Msg from Ajit Kr Roy

Dear RS,

You need to assess your achievements and deficiencies after introducing the blog. What was your theme when you started the blog and what is it now? I would suggest that you form a committee of well wishers to assist you. JK and I are available online through IM.

I hope you and your wife and children are okay and in good spirits.
Bye for now.


Dear AK,

My initial aim was to make all Goethalites inter-connected.
This was achieved in the first 3 or 4 months.
My next aim was to make it an interactive media to air our views,
which affected our country and us.
I have raised issues, which affected current affairs and us.
I am happy to say that too is being achieved.
Everybody may not be happy with the issues I have raised but at least we are having discussions and not rolling them under the carpet.
Many of our boys are not pleased and have asked me to remove them from the mailing list, which I do immediately.
I understand, I cannot please everybody.
If you have any suggestions I am sure all of us would welcome them


Dear RS,

The level of readership has to be surveyed or assessed from feedback and participation in the blog. So it is my suggestion that some value should be added to the blog to enhance its intrinsic value.

You may introduce new topics to distribute the interests of the readers and also to dilute the divisive impact of politics and religion.

Take for example a topic like the origin of the confectionery that was operated by the Lobos or Glenerary's or Windermeare Hotel or Capitol Theatre or the Mountaineering Institute or the Zoo in Darjeeling and reputed Tea Estates and the Kanchenjunga mountain or the Balasans valley or the Hill Cart Road and the Military Road or the schools run by the missionery or the services of the Priests and so on. Over a period of time the blog would be a magazine or a reference to the hills of Darjeeling.

So many Goethalites live or have settled in Darjeeling, Doars, Siliguri and Jalpaiguri and Sikkim, Bhutan and Nepal and our own Kurseong town. You need to attract them by adding value to the blog.

There should be participation from the school as that is where we were brought up. Every ex-student is eager to know what exams are going on, reports on the matches that were played, sports and drills, up-coming events and so on.

From now onwards you have to plan your weekly editions much in advance and avoid that spur of the moment. Let your editions have that GOLDEN CLICK.
Bye for now.


Dear AK,

I agree with you.
But for that people like you have to contrbute.
I do not consider this my blog, it is our blog.
I may have got the idea but I would want news and contributions from all ex-goethalites to make it truly OURS not my.
Why don't you start contributing?
I am today extending you an invitation to become one of our blog authors.
You may lead the discussion along the topics pointed out by you.
JK is coming to Kolakta in the next few days.



Dear RS,

Thanks for your email.

I may be able to assist you in an advisory capacity to begin with as my day is overloaded and my mind is busy with so many other thoughts. JK has made a beginning like you and he would surely take up an active position in the committee. Although SP is not in, he is definitely not out. SP may be out-of-station now; let's have a chat over tea when JK's here.

There is a lot of muscle in your blog. With a little bit of timely effort you could make it a truly Goethalite blog.

Bye for now.


PS: We have used all the short names we were used to using in school. AK=A K Roy, RS=Radheshyam, SP=S P Chatterjee, JK=J K Ghosh

Msg from Viraj Thacker

Dear Mr. Sharma,

Congratulations on a job well done! Our blog has certainly progressed…..from school nostalgia…..to an entire array of issues that define the complexities of the times we live in.

The blog certainly bears testimony to the sense of justice and fair play that the Christian Brothers imparted…..I am impressed by the depth and maturity expressed by all who have contributed.

Your efforts have brought us together as Old Goethalites and as world citizens….and I hope the blog will continue to mature with time.

Your noble undertaking is very appreciated!

Warm Regards & All Good Wishes.


Something lighter from Sir,Mr. Lobo






Friday, September 26, 2008

Building Castles & Bridges

Here are two inspiring articles from Rex Barker

Building the Brooklyn Bridge

In 1883, a creative engineer named John Roebling was inspired by an idea to build a spectacular bridge connecting New York with Brooklyn, however bridge building experts throughout the world thought that this was an impossible feat and told Roebling to forget the idea. It just could not be done. It was not practical. It had never been done before.

Roebling could not ignore the vision and after much discussion and persuasion he managed to convince his son Washington, an up and coming engineer, that the bridge in fact could be built. Working together for the first time, the father and son developed concepts of how it could be accomplished and how the obstacles could be overcome. With great excitement and inspiration, and the headiness of a wild challenge before them, they hired their crew and began to build their dream bridge.

The project started well, but when it was only a few months underway a tragic accident on the site took the life of John Roebling. Washington was injured and left with a certain amount of brain damage, which resulted in him not being able to walk or talk or even move.

In spite of the mockery and his handicap Washington was never discouraged and still had a burning desire to complete the bridge and his mind was still as sharp as ever. Suddenly an idea hit him. All he could do was move one finger and he decided to make the best use of it. By moving this, he slowly developed a code of communication with his wife.

He touched his wife's arm with that finger, indicating to her that he wanted her to call the engineers. Then he used the same method of tapping her arm to tell the engineers what to do. It seemed foolish but the project was under way again.

For 13 years Washington tapped out his instructions with his finger on his wife's arm, until the bridge was finally completed. Today the spectacular Brooklyn Bridge stands in all its glory as a tribute to the triumph of one man's indomitable spirit and his determination not to be defeated by circumstances. It is also a tribute to the engineers and their team work, and to their faith in a man who was considered mad by half the world. It stands too as a tangible monument to the love and devotion of his wife who for 13 long years patiently decoded the messages of her husband and told the engineers what to do.

Perhaps this is one of the best examples of a never-say-die attitude that overcomes a terrible physical handicap and achieves an impossible goal.

Even the most distant dream can be realized with determination and persistence.

This is Rex Barker, reminding you even the loftiest add most challenged dreams can be achieved with persistence and determination --- so each one of you, go out and "build your bridge".

Building Sand Castles

Hot sun. Salty air. Rhythmic waves.

A little boy is on his knees scooping and packing the sand with plastic shovels into a bright blue bucket. Then he upends the bucket on the surface and lifts it. And, to the delight of the little architect, a castle tower is created.

All afternoon he will work. Spooning out the moat. Packing the walls. Bottle tops will be sentries. Popsicle sticks will be bridges. A sandcastle will be built.

Big city. Busy streets. Rumbling traffic.

A man is in his office. At his desk he shuffles papers into stacks and delegates assignments. He cradles the phone on his shoulder and punches the keyboard with his fingers. Numbers are juggled and contracts are signed and much to the delight of the man, a profit is made.

All his life he will work. Formulating the plans. Forecasting the future. Annuities will be sentries. Capital gains will be bridges. An empire will be built.

Two builders of two castles. They have much in common. They shape granules into grandeurs. They see nothing and make something. They are diligent and determined. And for both the tide will rise and the end will come.

Yet that is where the similarities cease. For the boy sees the end while the man ignores it. Watch the boy as the dusk approaches.

As the waves near, the wise child jumps to his feet and begins to clap. There is no sorrow. No fear. No regret. He knew this would happen. He is not surprised. And when the great breaker crashes into his castle and his masterpiece is sucked into the sea, he smiles. He smiles, picks up his tools, takes his father's hand, and goes home.

The grownup, however, is not so wise. As the wave of years collapses on his castle he is terrified. He hovers over the sandy monument to protect it. He blocks the waves from the walls he has made. Salt-water soaked and shivering he snarls at the incoming tide.

"It's my castle," he defies.

The ocean need not respond. Both know to whom the sand belongs...

I don't know much about sandcastles. But children do. Watch them and learn. Go ahead and build, but build with a child's heart. When the sun sets and the tides take - applaud. Salute the process of life and go home.

Why we are, What we are.

I have said in one of our earlier posts that Geography has quite a lot to do with our characteristc. In fact I would say 90% is because of Geography and 5% because of genes and balance 5% by the company we keep.

Here is an anlaysis of how people of different nationalities deal with the fair sex.
As usul, it took the brainy genes of Prakash Bhartia to spot the subtle differences.


Culture differences! Vive les differences !!

On a chain of beautiful deserted islands in the middle of South Pacific, the following people are stranded:

Two Italian men and one Italian woman.
Two French men and one French woman.
Two German men and one German woman.
Two Greek men and one Greek woman.
Two British men and one British woman.
Two Bulgarian men and one Bulgarian woman.
Two Japanese men and one Japanese woman.
Two Chinese men and one Chinese woman.
Two Irish men and one Irish woman.
Two American men and one American woman.

One month later, on these absolutely stunning deserted islands
in the middle of nowhere, the following things have occurred:

One Italian man killed the other Italian man for the Italian woman.

The two French men and the French woman are living happily
together in a ménage à trois.

The two German men have a strict weekly schedule of alternating
visits with the German woman.

The two Greek men are sleeping together and the Greek woman is
cooking and cleaning for them.

The two British men are waiting for someone to introduce
them to the British woman.

The two Bulgarian men took one look at the Bulgarian
woman and started swimming to another island.

The two Japanese have faxed Tokyo and are awaiting instructions.

The two Chinese men have set up a pharmacy, liquor store,
restaurant, and laundry, and have gotten the woman
pregnant in order to supply more employees for their stores.

The two Irish men divided the island into north and south and
set up a distillery.
They do not remember if sex is in the picture because
it gets somewhat foggy after a few pints of coconut whisky.
However, they're satisfied because the British aren't having any fun.

The two American men are contemplating suicide, because
the American woman will not shut up and complains relentlessly
about her body, the true nature of feminism,
what the sun is doing to her skin, how
she can do anything they can do,
the necessity of fulfillment,
the equal division of household chores,
how sand and palm trees make her look fat,
how her last boyfriend respected her opinion and
treated her nicer than they do,
and how her relationship with her mother is
the root cause of all her problems,
and why didn't they bring a damn
cell phone so they could call 911 and get them all
rescued off this forsaken deserted island in the middle of
freaking nowhere so she can get her nails done and go shopping.'

Thursday, September 25, 2008


In school we read in "A tale of two cities", there is no sacrifice greater than the sacrifce one makes of his life for a friend.
Here is a story from Sher Singh

My wife called, 'How long will you be with the newspaper?
Will you come here and make your darling daughter eat her food?
I tossed the paper away and rushed to the scene.
My daughter, Pooja looked frightened; tears were welling up in her eyes. In front of her was a bowl filled to its brim with curd rice. Pooja is a nice child, quite intelligent for her age.
"Pooja, darling, why don't you take a few mouthful of this curd rice? Just for Dad's sake, dear".
Pooja softened a bit and wiped her tears with the back of her hands.
"Ok, Dad. I will eat - not just a few mouthfuls, but the whole lot of this. But, you should..." Pooja hesitated. "Dad, if I eat this entire curd Rice, will you give me whatever I ask for?"
"Promise". I covered the pink soft hand extended by my daughter with mine, and clinched the deal.
Now I became a bit anxious. "Pooja, dear, you shouldn't insist on getting a computer or any such expensive items. Dad does not have that kind of money right now. Ok?"
"No, Dad. I do not want anything expensive". Slowly and painfully, she finished eating the whole quantity. I was silently angry with my wife for forcing my child to eat something that she detested.
After the ordeal was through,Pooja came to me with her eyes wide with expectation. All our attention was on her.
"Dad, I want to have my head shaved off, this Sunday!" was her demand.
"Atrocious!" shouted my wife, "A girl child having her head shaved off? Impossible!"
"Pooja, darling, why don't you ask for something else? We will be sad seeing you with a clean-shaven head."
"Please, Pooja why don't you try to understand our feelings?" I tried to plead with her.
"Dad, you saw how difficult it was for me to eat that Curd Rice".Pooja was in tears. "And you promised to grant me whatever I ask for. Now, you are going back on your words ."
It was time for me to call the shots. "Our promise must be kept."
"Are you out of your mind?" chorused wife.
"No. If we go back on our promises, she will never learn to honor her own. Pooja, your wish will be fulfilled."
With her head clean-shaven, Pooja had a round-face, and her eyes looked big and beautiful.
On Monday morning, I dropped her at her school. It was a sight to watch my hairless Pooja walking towards her classroom. She turned around and waved. I waved back with a smile. Just then, a girl alighted from a car, and shouted, "Pooja, please wait for me!" What struck me was the hairless head of that girl 'May be, that is the in-stuff', I thought.
"Sir, your daughter Pooja is great indeed!" Without introducing herself, a lady got out of the car, and continued, "that girl who is walking along with your daughter is my only daughter Kanta. She is suffering from..leukemia". She paused to muffle her sobs. "Kanta could not attend the school for the whole of the last month. She lost all her hair due to the side effects of the chemotherapy. She refused to come back to school fearing the unintentional but cruel teasing of the schoolmates. Pooja visited her last week, and promised her that she will take care of the teasing issue. But, I never imagined she would sacrifice her lovely hair for the sake of my daughter! Sir, you and your wife are blessed to have such a noble soul as your daughter."
I stood transfixed and then, I wept.. "My little Angel, you are teaching me how selfless real love is!!."
The happiest people on this planet are not those who live on their own terms but are those who change their terms for the ones whom they love !!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Happy Birthday

Today is an important day.
One year ago, after attending a party organised by our boys to usher in the centernary celebrations, the idea struck me to start our blog.
We have managed to keep it alive for one year.
I hope,inshallah, with the help of everybody, we are able to continue.
We have had differences of opinions on issues, but these are healthy in any democracy. It is better to discuss and iron out differences instead of sweeping them under the carpet or agree to differ as everybody cannot agree to everything.
I would request more articles from our boys to make it even more readable by a wider audience.
I have posted all the pictures which were put on the first posting, for nostalgia.


Omnia Bene Facere!

Welcome all present and past students of Goethals.

We old boys of Kolkata were fortunate to be able to assemble at Bengal Club for a small get together, a precursor to the centenary celebrations in Kurseong from 1st to 7th November.

Since one picture is worth a thousand words, I'll let the photographs speak for themselves.

It was a wondrous party full of nostalgia, especially the slide show of photographs of our school.

Well, here's cheers for Goethals!!

1965 batch

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It Would Serve Us Well To Remember…….Peace, Love and Tolerance!

Vivekananda was encouraged by J.H. Wright, a professor of Greek at Harvard University, to speak on Hinduism in the 1893 World Parliament of Religions in Chicago. When he expressed reservations saying he had no credentials, the professor replied, "To ask you, Swami, for your credentials is like asking the sun about its right to shine." He wrote about Vivekananda to the chairman of the committee on selection of delegates, "Here is a man more learned than all our learned professors put together."
When I asked God for Strength
He gave me difficulties to face
When I asked God for Happiness
He showed me unhappy people
When I asked God for Wealth
He showed me hard work
When I asked God for peace
He taught me Tolerance and Love…………
His first lecture, which began with the opening line "Sisters and Brothers of America," made the audience clap for two minutes in appreciation, for prior to this seminal speech, they were always addressed as "Ladies and Gentlemen." It was this speech that catapulted him to fame by his wide audiences in Chicago and then later everywhere else in America, including far-flung places such as Memphis, Boston, San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, and St. Louis.

The Indian Dilemna

Much has been discussed about religion, its power, its influence and its misuse. But the fact remains that the mayhem carried out by the BJP, VHP and the Bajrang Dal in several states is certainly to be condemned. The problem with the BJP is the party doesn't seem to have taken the lower strata of society into its fold. The party has not trained its members at the grass root level to educate that section and make them feel that they belong to the society at large. These people have been ignored and deprived for centuries. Even now they are tortured, humiliated and killed on the flimsiest cause. This has caused divisions in the society. The country is being fragmented and the society disintegrated. This must stop.
The BJP, as a responsible national party, has to initiate steps, at the grass root level, to instil confidence in these people, and draw them into the party. Because of the neglect and humiliation they have been treated to for centuries, these people have become distrustful of the upper echelon of society. This distrust and hate have become the cause for creation of regional parties throughout India, fragmenting the society. But, at the same time, it should be a priority of the party to educate and instil a sense of responsibility among the upper caste. The arrogance and superiority flaunted by them should be subdued. The feeling that "All are equal, but some are more equal than others" should be totally erased from our society. Only then there will be peace.
Thandup has very rightly stated that in school we were enclosed in a cocoon. We had no idea what the outside world was like. We never knew that the caste system still prevailed in our country. As Thandup had stated, that we read of the system in our history book. But we had no idea that it still existed. And that there was a reservation system for ST/SCs in various walks of life.
During my service period, I had the good fortune of travelling throughout India, from big cities and small towns to little hamlets, where children upto 10/12 years roamed about the streets without a stitch of cloth on them.The money-lenders bled the people dry. The victims were mostly ST/SCs. In many such areas, banks have saved the people from the clutches of the money-lenders, and raised their economic standard. These poor people were grateful to the banks. I have seen banks playing a vital role in the upliftment of these people. In one village I have seen the manager of a bank taking the initiative in electrification of a village. The bank employees played a vital role even in education. They distributed books, opened small schools for children as well as for adults. If bank employees can be so progressive, why can't the big parties come forward and do the same, instead of giving false promises and spreading hatred ?
God is One. It is man who has divided Him. One God we have installed in the Church, one God we have installed in the Temple and another we have installed in a Masjid. And there are many more where we have installed the One Almighty God under different names. Whereas, we all say, God is One. We fight over this One God, giving Him different names. How strange ! All religions preach there is only one Omnipotent God, yet we fight, kill and burn in His name. Religion teaches us tolerance and non-violence, but in reality we practice intolerance, hatred and violence. Man is a strange animal.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Messages from Old Boys 38

Msg from Raju Sinha

Hello Raju,

Thanks for your mail and I appreciate your suggestion.
It would be very easy for me to keep quiet like the rest of the country and let things develop as they are.
I also know that what I say is not going to change things much.
But we cannot be like ostrich's and bury our heads in the sand hoping the storm would pass over.
We are having problems and violence in Orissa and Karnataka.. We can either keep quiet and let things go one or we can give and mould opinions.
I am receiving different opinions from Christians and others on the topic I have raised. Let us have a fair discussion without any rancour for after all we are all from the same school. Let us have their views and let them know our views.
If you note I have not attacked any religion.
All religion preach peace.
It is only the way some convert people claiming that their religion is superior, is what I have objected to.
My objection is conversion.
I have nothing against anybody after all Hindu's believe we are all sons of ONE God and all religions lead to Him.


Hello Mr. Sharma

I have always admired your timely emails and news; which has been a way for me to connect with the "Old Goats" I appreciate your initiative in this matter, and your time you devote every week. But, today in having read your e-mail, I would kindly ask you that you deviate from any religious bias or opinions. I don't doubt your professionalism at all, but I think such an e-mail is going to hurt a lot of readers. I have no intention in getting into a debate about this matter, but I hope you will understand why I have a suggestions as such for you.


Raju Sinha

Msg from Br. James

Dear Radheshyam,

Its a pity that Christian Missioneries also includes the Christian Brothers. There are some denominations under the banner of 'Christian' who got this wrong idea that only Jesus is the incarnation of God and who go around preaching that Jesus is the only way. That is not a Chtristian thinking. It was the case some 50 years ago. Now Catholics believe that Hindus have their own way, Muslims have their own way of reaching God.
We catholics respect all who believe in any God and are begining to respect unbelievers also. But their are some denominations under the banner of 'Christian', sponsored by Americans, by the name of Evangelists, Baptists and Protestants [UK based] and some others who crazily and dangerously convert. We catholics, preach about Jesus and barely are able to follow his teachings; but we never force anyone to become catholics. In fact when someone comes to us and tells us that he wants to be a Christian we cross-check him to see if he has any ulterior motive and dissuade him as much as possible by asking him to first go for a three-year course before he makes any such decision. So kindly do not associate conversions with Christians but associate them with certain narrow-minded Christian denominations only.
Thank you.

Br. james

Msg from Thondup Sherpa

Dear Thondup,

It is beyond my comprehension how this is possible.
The earth revolves on its axis in 24 Hrs.
This would be possible only if the earth slowed down its speed to give you 12 additional hrs of sunshine.
On the other hand, just as in leap years we add one day and after every 400 years we add one day to synchronise the Gregorian calendar year with the solar year it would be possible if internationally they have agree to add 12 hrs to the day. But that does not mean additional 12 hrs of sunlight. But how they could do that also is beyond me since am would become pm in the timing of clocks.


Can one of you pls check out whether this is for REAL !!!!! If it is then do the following countires lose or gain 12 hours of sunshine ( not that it would matter to those in the Artic Circles / Sweden / Norway )

Subject: October 17, 2008 Sun will rise for 1.5 days(36 hours)

"Coming October 17, 2008 the sun will rise continuously for 36 hrs (1.5 days). During this time the American countries will be dark for 1.5 days.

It will convert 3 days into 2 big days. It will happen once in 2400 yrs.
We're very lucky to see this. Forward it to all friends."

Google: 17/10/2008, 17th October 2008, 3 days into 2 big days, American countries will be dark, Consequence of Global Warming, earth's rotation and revolution, NASA, October 17 2008, once in 2400 years, sun will rise for 1.5 days, sun will rise for 1.5 days(36 hours), sun will rise for 36hours.

15th Sept 08

Dear Chief,

I clicked the "Reply All" icon because I do not know whether there are invisible addressees in the mail and I for one would like to proclaim loud and clear that I am with you 100%. As for the brickbats it is prickheads who throw them. Let me tell you , and if there are any others out there then YOU too, my story.

After passing out of school I was seriously contemplating converting to Catholicism. None of the Brothers in school had preached, leave alone preach, none of them had even remotely hinted at conversion. It was just that I saw the yeoman service they did and my intellignece , or the little of it that I had, pushed me towards Christianity. And mind you I came from a very very staunch TIbetan Buddhist family where weekly pujas at home were the rule. Even then my parents never forced religion down our throats but it was there for all of us children to see. The nearest I got to being pushed towards Christianity in school was when I was chosen to sing in the school choir - during Mass and Benediction. But then so were a lot of other scruffy Nepalese and Bengalee boys...anyway to get on with the story. What changed me was 2 incidents

Incident # 1 : During the College summer holidays I was accosted on the street in Kalimpong one day by a Christian missionary - must have been from one of the more rabid Protestant tribes. He literally collared me by my shoulder and thundered " Do you believe in Jesus ? " Sheer fright or perhaps bloody mindedness at being manhandled made me retort "No I am a Buddhist" " Then you will burn in hell. All those who do not worship Jesus will burn in Hell. All those of you who worship the Devil will burn in Hell for all Eternity ". That was very very offensive and a very different side of Christianity - something I had never even seen, let alone imagined.

Incident # 2 : A year later I was hearing a sermon by HH the Dalai Lama. This was in Bodha Gaya. He was preaching to a crowd of more than a few thousands. It was mainly followers of the Tibetan Buddhist with a sprinkling of foreigners (those were the days of the Hippies and the Flower Children) What HH had to say was " Religion is like music. To some Western Classical music is sweet, to some Indian Classical music appeals to the soul. And to some they find that the modern songs touch their hearts. Whatever it is the important thing is that music speaks to the heart and soul. So is it with religion. Just like no person is superior or inferior to another due to his music preference so is it with religion. Embrace that religion which speaks to your heart. And if there any amongst you today who finds that the music of Hinduism or Christianity speaks more clearly to your heart then I urge you go and embrace that religion. And go with my blessings".

The first incident spoke of weaknes ,fear and insecurity; the second incident of confidence and wisdom. That is when I was reconverted back to my own religion.

Yes there are fanatics and fundamentalists in Buddhism too. But what is most offensive is the forcible conversion of poor and ignorant people . In Japan in the 1700s they were known as rice Christians ( converted because they would receive rice to stave off death from hunger ). You must have heard about the Spanish Conquistidores. Did you know that their method of justifying their pillage of the South American Indian tribes was very much like what is being done today ( though the methods today are not as blaise or barefaced ). The Spanish army would march upto the walls of the Fort / Village / City. Then one of the Spanish would read out a long letter in LATIN asking the INDIANS to either come out to parley or to surrender. And then at the count of THREE if the Indians did NOT respond then
they would be justified in attacking the village / fort and putting all the INDIANs to death etc. The bloody Spanish soldiers themselves did not understand Latin then how the hell would the Indians ? After all this the leader would call upon the priest and the monk would then bless the soldiers and exhort them in the name of God , Christianity and King. The Christians had their Jehad before the Mussalman did.

As for MF Hussain and his so called supporters of freedom of Art etc... You are correct... would he dare do the same with a Mohammedan Prophet ( there are more than one of them ) leave alone Allah. NO NO and NO a thousand times. It is because Hinduism and Buddhism are tolerant that we get shafted. The 10 metres plus Bamiyan statues of Buddha were demolished by the Taliban - did anybody make any real protest ? Some cartoonist in Denmark draws a cartoon and all of the Muslim world is up in arms !!!!! Sit back and think perhaps there is some lesson here. I for one see one - when you are confident and strong in your belief then all these things do not make a difference. But when you are unsure of yourself then even the slightest sound is enough to send you scrambling. It is like the confident husband and the impotent one. A man who is confident of keeping his wife happy in bed and at home does hound her every step. Whereas the impotent husband is forever scared that his wife will run away with the driver or the milkman or even the postman !!!!!
And every little incident is misconstrued as an affront to his masculinity. Poor buggers..

So take heart Chief. We are much stronger than that. While I also absolutely condemn any acts of violence against people of other religions I do not approve of conversion by stealth, deceit or monetary cooercion. It seems that these people have targets to meet in terms of the number of converts... something like corporate targets. These people give religion a bad name. I only wish their Heads at their Head Offices would take a hard look at their SOP - Standard Operating Procedures - and realise the harm they are doing to their own cause. With a little patience I am sure they will be able to win willing hearts - not coerced stomachs. And to top it all the fracas in St stephens has only aggravated the matter.
Best regards

To the Captain of my House



Msg from Sir, Mr. Lobo

Four trams with an international look will hit the Calcutta tracks around Mahalaya. Metro takes a sneak peek into the refurbished trams, which were launched at Nonapukur depot on Monday.
Exterior: The classy colour combination and the transparent roofs and windows will provide visual relief to Calcuttans tired of seeing the iron junks that ply on the tracks now. The driver, too, gets a glass cabin.
Interior: Bucket seats with cushion take the place of their stiff wooden predecessors. The class system, too, goes, with fans in both compartments. The fans have become smaller but are better placed and more efficient, according to Calcutta Tram Company (CTC) engineers.
Technology: CTC chief engineer C.S. Bhattacharjee says the four trams are “refurbished versions of the old ones”. There are no technological improvements in the new vehicles, each of which has been developed at a cost of Rs 11,50,000 at the Nonapukur depot.
“We could have increased the maximum speed but chose not to. Trams that we see on the roads can comfortably do 40 kmph,” he said.
The new models will have uninterruptible power supply (UPS), which would allow fans and lights to run for 45 minutes even if there is no power supply, added Bhattacharjee.
Plus: The new trams will have a pair of powerful headlights. There will also be indicators to signal whether the vehicle will go left or right.
But: Calcuttans musn’t get too excited. Of the 260 trams that CTC owns, only 130 ply in the city as many routes have been discontinued. Only four trams of the new model are being introduced, so spotting one on the road will be quite a task. There are plans to commission another 10 trams of the new model.

Msg from Charles Tresham

Subject: Re: FW: Breaking News: Mayhem in Mangalore - Churches Attacked

Let's not develop a persecution complex over what is probably an isolated incident. There's always an element of fanaticism in every religion and in my experience Hindus are as God fearing and respectful of other religions as Christians are.
There is only one God although He may go by different names in different countries. However, I believe there is only one Heaven and one Hell and we're all going to meet up in one or the other!
See you all in Heaven.........I hope!


Charles Tresham

Msg sent by J A Kingsley

Mayhem in Mangalore - Churches Attacked
Mangalore Sept 14, 2008: In an incident that has shocked the peace loving Christians of Mangalore, a group of persons claiming to be from the RSS group have entered the Adoration Monastery Chapel at Milagres and desecrated the blessed sacrament and broken everything they could get their hands on.
Fr. Prakash Monteiro from the Bishop's house speaking to Mangalorean.com informed that the incident occurred at 10:15 am today. He said the miscreants entered the chapel by breaking two windows. The chapel is being run by the cloistered carmel sisters, where Sr. Mary Carmel is the Mother Superior.
Speaking to Mangalorean.com, the nuns of the Cloistered Carmel said that a group of youth about eight in number barged into the chapel around 10:15 am and started attacking everything in sight. The cloistered nuns were inside the enclosure and heard the sounds. There were about three lay people praying in the chapel. One of the persons who was praying caught hold of the youth who was climbing the altar and tried to stop him from breaking the sacrament but he did not succeed. The nuns said the sacrament fell on the floor and broke. The miscreants then went on a rampage and broke the crucifix, the oil lamps, the vases on the altar and then proceeded to destroy the statues

Msg from Roy Joseph

Dear Roy,

Hari Om!
Thank you for your suggestions.
You surprise me.
I really admire your guts.
Here, I am saying that we are completely satisfied with our religion and you try to convince me to follow your religion.
I can assure you, I have nothing against Jesus Christ or the Christians. What we object is conversions.
We consider Jesus Christ as a guru and we Hindus respect all gurus.
As far as son of God is considered, our religion says that all us humans are sons and daughters of the One and only God. There is no separate God for the Hindus or Muslims or the Christians or Sikhs or Jews or for that matter any other person of any religion. He is Father of even the communists and the atheists and they are His sons, whether they like it or not.
If a prodigal son denies the existence of his father, does the father become non-existant..
No my friend, by saying that Jesus is the one and only God, and only Christians are his children, you are being unjust to Him.
You do not understand even your own religion.
My God is formless and yet He is in every form
He is in everything and everything is Him.
Once you understand this, you will realize that you don't have to convert anybody.
By converting people, you are playing politics and trying to gain strength by increasing your population.
This is what Aurangzeb did when he forcibly converted Hindus into Muslims and this is what Richard the Lion hearted tried to do when he lead the crusades.
Please let us stay in our own religion, we are perfectly satisfied.
And don't try to convert us.
By the way, why don't you come over sometime to Kolkata and I will teach you how to do Pranayam, yoga and Dhyan so that you can have a more puposeful and peaceful life here and now instead of waiting for the here -in-after.
Yours sincerely


Dear Radheshyam,

Thank you for your mail.

I would have loved to agree with your views! However, though I am a Christian, I have descended from Malayalee Hindu ancestors and so the view expressed in your mail seems to me to suggest (though it was put in a modern context in your mail) that my ancestors' decision to become followers of Jesus Christ was immature, ill-advised, impulsive or even worse, taken by swallowing an economic 'bait!

Does this not amount to insulting my forbears? Who gave this authority?

In similar circumstances would not the leaders of those radical groups who claim to represent the Hindu majority in this country today, have been up in arms against some common 'enemy' by being 'outraged' at the insult, real or imaginary, intentional or unintentional, to the ancient kings and rulers of our glorious land? Have not such comments provoked the 'ire' of such elements in the past ? Have we, even civilized and educated people, suddenly lost all our memory of the outrage we felt when we read about the several instances of riots and destruction of public property perpetrated by these elements on such issues? Have our hearts been hardened against the people we now perceive as 'them' who are not part of 'us'?

But you know that you don't be concerned with my feelings, as I am a Christian and so, as taught and shown by the example of Jesus Christ, I am expected to turn the other cheek to you when I'm slapped on one cheek, and so indeed, even now I have already forgiven you with all my heart, as anyone would expect of me as a Christian! If you gain satisfaction by insulting me, I authorize you with love!

Again, as a Christian, I must always speak the truth and so I have to honestly admit that none of my feelings have been offended by your mail! This is because as a follower of Christ I have gained a little amount of His spiritual maturity and so I was able to understand that the views which you express as your own have been planted surreptitiously, i.e. even without your own knowledge, in your head! Your feelings have been injured by the sustained campaign of hatred and mistrust against Christians by some elements who are self-proclaimed representatives of the 'true' Hindu nationalist majority but you yourself know that their actions do not show that they have any Godly virtues. Does this not show that the sort of religion they represent has nothing to do with God? Yet their actions are sought to be justified in the name of outrage of 'religious' sentiments! Not just under religion, their actions would not even be treated as 'gentlemanly conduct' as per any standards. Still I am surprised that they managed to influence even you, though you were raised in a prestigious Christian boarding school, just like me, from your elementary school-days – and more so because I see that you are still proud of our school! And rightly so, I may add!

I do not know why my ancestors abandoned their anciently-held customs and beliefs under the Hindu religion. However, I am sure that such a change would have been very painful to them and I can understand that this is precisely the mental agony that any convert to Christianity experiences even today. No amount of 'economical' baits can compensate for the sense of isolation that they feel from their own kith and kin especially when they are ostracized for the reason of their conversion and are also denied their status of being a Scheduled Caste, as per the law of this land, for the sake of reservations in educational institutions and in job vacancies, by virtue of their conversion to Christianity.

What makes their suffering worse is that most of the 'traditional or orthodox Christians' (who have missed the very essence of Christ's teachings) do not accept such converts into their fold for the sake of intermarriage or for socializing!

I do not know what prompted my ancestors to undergo such sufferings consequent on their conversion to Christianity. However I do know, and of this I am very confident also, that after personally coming to the age of understanding, with enough education and the maturity that life's experiences bring behind me, besides having adequate means of livelihood (as just a lower middle-class Indian), I have consciously decided to continue, as per the decision taken by my ancestors, to have faith in Jesus Christ and to try to follow His teachings in my day-to-day life.

I feel deeply grateful to my ancestors now for taking what I am sure was a correct and momentous decision at that crucial point in their lives, which has conferred immeasurable blessings upon me, one of their descendants. Their sufferings on account of their decision to put their faith in Jesus in place of the Hindu deities, did not go in vain as it enabled me, their descendant, to be born into a Christian household and so I have been spared such sufferings and probably persecutions as well, faced by them which the recent Christian converts in many parts of our country are at present undergoing, as reported in the news.

I am also sure that even though I was born a Christian, if I were to be given an opportunity to decide on my own free will to convert back to Hinduism, the religion followed by my ancestors, and even if great wealth and incentives were to be extended to me to encourage me to do so, I would certainly not accept such an offer since the main issue involved is the salvation of my soul, and I believe from my heart that my soul is worth infinitely billions of time more than everything in this world today. Based on my faith in the Holy Bible as the Word of God, I am convinced that my soul can be redeemed only by the blood of Jesus paid in ransom for my sins and the sins of the whole world.

From my perspective the common mistake made by those who misunderstand true spirituality is that Christianity is viewed merely as a religion today. What is the religion of God? What is the religion of the Son of God? What the Christians believe is that Jesus is the Son of God who came for the salvation of the world from sin. I believe that His Words are infinitely above the value-systems of all human religions, including a 'Christian' religion which exists based merely to promote customs and rituals, howsoever ancient and emotionally satisfying they may seem. Jesus said, "God is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship in truth and in Spirit."

Jesus Christ Himself said, "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father, except by Me." By these Words only two options are available to the hearer - Jesus can either be dismissed as a liar or He can be believed in, as indeed He is, as the Son of God. During His time on this earth Jesus demonstrated with holiness and great power, through miracles and healing of diseases, even by raising dead persons to life, that He was perfectly what He claimed to be, truly the Son of God who came as an atoning Sacrifice to redeem the human race which is under the curse of eternal punishment and banishment from God's Presence. Further, Jesus died as atonement for these sins, from by being resurrected from His grave, He proved that He conquered death and that all the sins of mankind were forgiven by God the Father who raised His Son from the dead.

There is, as it was during His days on this earth, no allurement or compulsion to believe Him, accept Him as Lord and follow in His Way. It is purely a matter of individual choice based on faith. Faith is a matter of the heart and cannot be forced or created through such material benefits or external observances. If Christians have failed today to demonstrate the same power and love that Jesus demonstrated to prove that He and the Father were one, I too have a share in this responsibility for this shortcoming in our Christian lives, especially if this is hindering the Truth of His message, that Jesus is the Son of God, from being accepted by others, including you. However, this certainly does not mean that what He said can be dismissed by anyone without peril to his soul. Everyone is solely responsible for the safety of his own soul. No one can point a finger at anyone when we stand before Him in judgment one day. It is written in the Holy Bible, "It is appointed to man once to die and after that the judgment."

If someone's house was on fire and he asks the people to prevent the Fire Brigade from rescuing him, what would you call him? Likewise, if someone after perceiving a threat to your eternal life is sincerely trying to save you, would you call him your enemy? Yet, innocent, ignorant, people have given their consent in silence to those forces who are opposing the Truth of the Son of God, by portraying themselves as the custodians of this country's ancient culture, etc. Of what value is a few centuries of closely-held beliefs, howsoever sacred they may be and any country's culture, in all its glory, in comparison to the period of eternity, not bound even by this earth's boundaries, which can either be spent with God in everlasting bliss or away from His Presence in unspeakable torment?

My dear friend, you are free to express any opinion you wish, if you are really convinced of the salvation of your own soul, but my humble plea is, since it is not required of the religion that you follow to spread any 'gospel' such as the task entrusted to Christians by our Founder, Jesus Christ Himself, please don't put yourself in the dangerous situation of where you may have to account before God also for the souls of other people who may be guided by the opinion expressed by you for taking a decision which affects not only themselves but also their family and even for their descendants who follow after them.

You know that neither I nor any Christian friend who speaks to you about Jesus has anything to gain personally either materially or spiritually from your acceptance of this free Gospel of salvation by putting your faith in my Lord Jesus. In fact, our preaching of the Gospel to you, at great risk to our own lives and the lives of our own loved ones, should be proof enough that we love you sincerely and would like to see you happy in eternity. This love is unconditional, which means that the love would be there till our last breath even if you reject our plea to you, but will you be with us in our eternal life?

Certainly, nothing is to be gained in arguing with you, so I only plead with you!

God loves us, so He Himself will ensure that the Gospel of His Son is spread throughout this noble land. No human being, howsoever powerful or strong in might or supported by numbers he may be, can oppose Him.

Further, Jesus is mighty to preserve my soul even if all my possessions, loved ones or even my own body might be destroyed in the process of trying to take His message of salvation to His precious children in India, each of whom He knows personally and does not want to lose. Therefore, even if I have to face loss of all my earthly possessions (I am not so rich, so I have very little to lose!) and death in my body for the sake of telling you something of eternal importance to you and your loved ones, in the true example laid down by Him, I would humbly volunteer to do so, in faith, without any hesitation. Because Jesus loves you and I love Him truly as I love you also!

I humbly plead with you to inquire further regarding how your soul can be preserved from eternal damnation through faith in Jesus, the only Name in this world which can save your soul given by God Himself,.

Please contact me for any information on the simple way in which you can also build a relationship with Jesus and experience a happy, satisfying life in Him.

With love,

Yours sincerely,
Roy Joseph.

Msg from Surojit Mitra

I would really appreciate the fact if you had replied to my letter instead of keeping the barrel of your gun on someone elses shoulder.
I will pray that He gives you wisdom and opens the eye of your heart.
You will be on my top priority prayer list.
Worship the creator and not the created stuffs.
God is not formless. He created us in His image, understand?
You need deliverance brother.
In Him.
Dear Surojit,

Roy had written a similar letter to me so I will just send you the reply I had sent to Roy.

Hari Om!
Thank you for your suggestions.
You surprise me.
I really admire your guts.
Here, I am saying that we are completely satisfied with our religion and you try to convince me to follow your religion.
I can assure you, I have nothing against Jesus Christ or the missionaries.. What we object is conversions.
We consider Jesus Christ as a guru and we Hindus respect all gurus.
As far as son of God is considered, our religion says that all us humans are sons and daughters of the One and only God. There is no separate God for the Hindus or Muslims or the Christians or Sikhs or Jews or for that matter any other person of any religion. He is Father of even the communists and the atheists and they are His sons, whether they like it or not.
If a prodigal son denies the existence of his father, does the father become non-existant..
No my friend, by saying that Jesus is the one and only God, and only Christians are his children, you are being unjust to Him.
You do not understand even your own religion.
My God is formless and yet He is in every form
He is in everything and everything is Him.
Once you understand this, you will realize that you don't have to convert anybody.
By converting people, you are playing politics and trying to gain strength by increasing your population.
This is what Aurangzeb did when he forcibly converted Hindus into Muslims and this is what Richard the Lion hearted tried to do when he lead the crusades.
Please let us stay in our own religion, we are perfectly satisfied.
And don't try to convert us.
By the way, why don't you come over sometime to my place and I will teach you how to do Pranayam, yoga and Dhyan so that you can have a more puposeful and peaceful life here and now instead of waiting for the here -in-after.
You too are most welcome at my place, if you would like to convince me on the superiority of Christianity.
I do not consider my religion superior.
I cosider All religions equal since they lead to the One and only God.You call Him Jesus Christ, Muslims call Him Allah, we call Him Parbrahma or Om, The Sikhs call Him Wahe.
What's in a name?
Yours sincerely


It is extremely sad to know that you have taken Christianity as a religion, whereas it is a lifestyle my dear friend. I don't blame you cos what GMS taught us was to do good works and be saved but the fact remains that we need to be saved first and then do good works.
"God loved the world so much that He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life." [ Bible, John 3:16 ]
If only you knew the heart of God my dear Radhaayshyamji, you would fall flat on your face and worship and praise and thank Him for His mercy which are new every morning and His love which endures forever.
I too was like you brother but when I experienced the love of God, His touch and His eagerness to fellowship with me, I had to break. For God resists the proud and showers His grace to the humble. Who are you and I to judge others?
"God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world but to save the world through Him.[ Bible John 3:17 ] So I really think you need to apologize to 'those' missionaries in your prayer to God in Jesus name. Have the humbleness?
If you have a day to spare for me I WILL come and share the love of God with you my brother.
Remember, 1] "if you are shy you are dry"
2]"if you are reachable you are teachable".
And please forgive me if I tell you your concept of the muslim stats, 'rich' people stats are ALL wrong. You will be amazed how the true servants of the Lord are in every corner of this earth spreading the good news of salvation.
Thanks and may His grace be on you and your family.
Your brother in Him.


Religion and Terrorism

For the last two months India has been shaken by terrorist attacks on innocent people. Killing and maiming people, irrespective of religion. We all know who are responsible for these heinous crimes. The government at the centre is also well aware of the perpetrators. But it is not willing to take any stern action to book the criminals, keeping in mind the future election. I doubt whether such a gutless government exists in any country in the world. Then there are spokesmen of the government who make such beautiful analysis in flowery words of the benefit of secularism, sanctifying terrorism in a roundabout manner. For government stooges like Karan Thapar, what VHP, or Bajrang Dal do is sacrilege. But what the so called minorities do is holy. Why doesn't Mr. Thapar make an analysis of the action or reaction of the VHP or Bajrang Dal ? Why doesn't he look for the root of all the troubles so that it can be removed ? He doesn't dare. There must be a genuine cause behind the actions of the VHP and Bajrang Dal. Why doesn't Mr. Thapar and other stalwarts of the Congress and other SECULAR parties look for the root of all the problems. They are afraid to do so. They don't dare to do so. These parties would loose votes. Please, then, don't take that holier than thou attitude. SEARCH FOR THE TRUTH.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Terrorism, a minorities' view

Mufti Mohammed Sayeed was home minister in V P Singh's government. His third daughter Rubaiya, was carried away in a stage managed kidnapping in 1989. It was the succumbing to the pressures of Mufti , which resulted in his daughter being released by the terrorists in exchange for their brother terrorists.
That one cinder which Mufti's daughter lighted for the terrorists in 1989 is the cause of the present bomb blasts occurring serially in our cities.
The problem in Kashmir has not been solved, only the press and the media had been gagged so that passions are not inflamed further.
This same Mufti family was behind the problem which developed in Kashmir recently.
Mufti is a politician in Jammu and Kashmir.
He is said to have brought about the downfall of the Farooq Abdullah led National Conference government of Jammu and Kashmir in 1984.
In its greed for power, the Congress preferred to align with Mufti instead of the more secular National Conference party of Farookh Abdullah.
In 1987, he quit the Congress to join V P Singh's Janata Dal, which led to his becoming the first Muslim Home Minister in 1989
He rejoined the Congress under P V Narasimha Rao which he left in 1999 along with another daughter Mehbooba Mufti to form his own party, People's Democratic Party.
He leads the (PDP), a Jammu and Kashmir-based party which he formed in July 1999 to "persuade the Government of India to initiate an unconditional dialogue with Kashmiris for resolution of the Kashmir problem". ( A euphemism to grant independence to Kashmir or merge in Pakistan)
He was the chief minister from 2002 until 2005.
The Congress government in Kashmir fell when the Mufti withdrew support to it on the issue of granting land to the Hindu pilgrims going to Vaishnao Devi.

In its war on terrorism, India has many allies in the minority community who are secular in their thinking. Unfortunately, our politicians instead of bolstering support to them , take the easier route of appeasing the Mullahs and building their vote banks with people like Mufti.

One such person is Arif Mohammed Khan.
Arif resigned as minister from Rajiv Gandhi's Council of Ministers in 1987 in protest after the government moved a bill in Parliament to overturn the Supreme Court verdict in the Shah Bano case. His,is a consistent voice of Muslim progressives, which was silenced by the congress because it did not suit their game plan.
The following article was published in rediff.com

Terrorism is no crime, it is an act of war
Arif Mohammed Khan
rediff.com; September 16, 2008

Human beings are like limbs of one another, as they are created from the same essence.
When one limb is hurt the other limbs cannot be but in pain.
You who are indifferent to the suffering of others do not deserve to be called a man.
Sheikh Sadi, the great Iranian poet, had said this about those who are insensitive to human pain and misery, and I wonder what he would have said about those heartless brutes masquerading as men who by their own hands cause such heart-rending tragedy as we witnessed in Delhi [Images] on September 13.
India has been a victim of terrorism for the last more than two decades and has suffered more than any other country in terms of loss of precious human lives and property. The proxy war that we have been subjected to has already been discussed in such great details that now it has attained for many people a rote quality.
The people and Government of India know, rather the whole world knows who is sponsoring these terror attacks in India, who is organising the terror training camps and where these camps are located. Sadly we appear to have developed a sense of inurement to horror. After every attack we condemn terrorism and give routine expression to our resolve to fight terror and streamline our security establishment and then sit back and wait for another attack to repeat the same performance.
We are not the only country who has suffered at the hands of international terrorism, but we surely are the only country who has shown this stoic passivity in the face of such great provocation. Is it because we are inheritors of a great tradition called gambhirta (indifference to pain and pleasure) and therefore we should not get provoked easily, or is it because we are insensitive to the loss of ordinary people who become targets of such terror attacks? If not, then surely we have underestimated or ignored the gravity of the threat to an extent sufficient to have made the task of its perpetrators far easier.
Terrorism [Images] is no ordinary crime, in plain words it is warfare deliberately waged against civilians with the purpose of destroying their will to support either leaders or policies that agents of such violence find objectionable. This cross-border terrorism has now assumed more dangerous proportions with the aid and abatement of domestic elements.
Here I am not going to make any allegations against any country but would like to refer to some public writings and statements of Pakistani columnists and senior officials. This is what an Islamabad-based freelance journalist, Dr Farrukh Saleem, has said in one of his columns:
'For the past 40 years our uniformed decision-makers have been fed nothing but anti-India rations. Our civil society has been indoctrinated to equate Pakistan with Islam, India with Hindus, both being in tandem with 'Hindus being eternal enemies of Islam'. Our elementary and secondary school curriculum continues to be full of hate literature. My 9 -year-old son has a problem comprehending that an Indian can also be a Muslim.'
This was written some 25 years back, but the situation has only worsened thereafter. Ahmad Salim and A H Nayyar, in their 140-page report on 'The state of curriculum and textbooks in Pakistan', say 'the themes of jihad and shahadat (martyrdom), clearly distinguish the pre and post-1979 educational contents. There was no mention of these in the pre-Islamisation period curricula and textbooks, while the post-1979 curricula and textbooks openly eulogise jihad and shahadat and urge students to become mujahids (religious warriors) and martyrs.'
Now this is not about the books in a madrassa, but about the books that are prescribed in government schools for the children of five to 17 years of age.
On the other hand the chief of Inter Services Intelligence, while responding to a question at a seminar at Islamabad [Images] in 1999, publicly stated that 'Our aim is to weaken India from within and we can do it'. Only recently, some highly-placed officials of the US State Department have confirmed that the Pakistani army chief was aware of the ISI's plans to bomb the Indian embassy in Kabul in July.
These are not new revelations, merely a reference to show that the perpetrators of violence are not and cannot be treated as ordinary criminals; in fact they are foot soldiers of the mastermind operating from across the border. Terrorism is no ordinary crime, it is an act of war waged against India by targeting its civilian population. It is beyond the capacity of the local police or state governments to meet this threat adequately.
Once we acknowledge that terrorism is an act of war waged against India then it becomes the paramount duty of the central government to decide how long we will allow ourselves to bleed and how soon shall we put an end to this aggression.
We must also disabuse ourselves of the notion that all these terror problems have arisen as a result of the so-called unresolved Kashmir dispute. More than Kashmir, it was the creation of Bangladesh in 1971 and the surrender of more than 90,000 Pakistani soldiers that rankles the mind of the Pakistani military establishment. They hold us responsible for their dismemberment and humiliation and feel that but for India's intervention they could have ruthlessly suppressed the Bangladeshi disaffection and aspirations.
At the same time they are conscious of the result of three conventional wars and do not have the bile for another direct encounter. On the other hand, they can take satisfaction that by the stratagem of proxy wars in the guise of terrorism, they have been able to inflict greater damage on India. According to this strategy the action is directed at destroying India from within, which means using Indians to carry out the operations without risking their own blood and infrastructure.
We need not blame anybody but realise that our security is exclusively our own concern. Pakistan has every reason to behave the way they are behaving, but we have no explanation to justify our sloth and inertia. There are other countries who if attacked pursue the terrorist across continents, and we have failed to take care of the terror training camps at a stone's throw from our borders.
Enough is enough, we must make it clear that we shall not suffer any more spilling of blood on our streets and shall put nothing to chance in matters of national security.

How traditions develop

Sometime back I had talked of people following certain traditions without going into the background as to how the traditions developed.
Here is one example how it developed in scheduling deliveries in a brewery industry from Rex Barker.
There is another story of three ducks.

A very old traditional brewery in England decided to install a new canning line, so as to enable its beer products to be marketed through the supermarket sector. This represented a major change for the little company, and local dignitaries and past employees were invited to witness the first running of the new canning line, which was followed by a reception.

After the new line had been switched on successfully, and the formalities completed, the guests relaxed in small groups to chat and enjoy the reception. In a quiet corner stood three men discussing trucks and transport and distribution, since one was the present distribution manager, and the other two were past holders of the post, having retired many years ago. The three men represented three generations of company distribution management, spanning over sixty years.

The present distribution manager confessed that his job was becoming more stressful because company policy required long deliveries be made on Monday and Tuesday, short deliveries on Fridays, and all other deliveries mid-week.

"It's so difficult to schedule things efficiently - heaven knows what we'll do with these new cans and the tight demands of the supermarkets..."

The other two men nodded in agreement.

"It was the same in my day," sympathized the present manager's predecessor, "It always seemed strange to me that trucks returning early on Mondays and Tuesdays couldn't be used for little local runs, because the local deliveries had to be left until Friday."

The third man nodded, and was thinking hard, struggling to recall the policy's roots many years ago when he'd have been a junior in the dispatch department. After a pause, the third man smiled and then ventured a suggestion.

"I think I remember now," he said. "It was the horses..... During the Second World War fuel rationing was introduced. So we mothballed the trucks and went back to using the horses. On Mondays the horses were well-rested after the weekend - hence the long deliveries. By Friday the horses so tired they could only handle the short local drops..."

Soon after the opening of the new canning line the company changed its delivery policy

Three Tortoises...

Three tortoises, Mick, Alan and Les, decide to go on a picnic. So Mick packs the picnic basket with beer and sandwiches. The trouble is the picnic site is ten miles away so it takes them ten days to get there.

When they get there Mick unpacks the food and beer. "Ok, Les Give me the bottle opener."

"I didn't bring it," says Les. "I thought you packed it."Mick gets worried, He turns to Alan, "Did you bring the bottle opener??"

Naturally Alan didn't bring it. So they're stuck ten miles from Home without a bottle opener. Mick and Alan beg Les to go back for it, but he refuses as he says they will eat all the sandwiches.

After two hours, and after they have sworn on their tortoise lives that they will not eat the sandwiches, he finally agrees. So Les sets off down the road at a steady pace.

Twenty days pass and he still isn't back and Mick and Alan are starving, but a promise is a promise.

Another five days and he still isn't back, but a promise is a promise. Finally they can't take it any longer so they take out a sandwich each, and just as they are about to eat it, Les pops up from behind a rock and shouts....